3 Life Lessons From The Gym

Recently* I started doing some new things at the gym.

I raised my bicep and shoulder weights in my weights class, and I began doing cycling and combat-style classes to replace my treadmill walks.

The lessons I’ve learned from these changes have surprised me. And I’ve realized that they apply outside the gym, too.

Here are the 3 life lessons I’ve learned…

1. When You’re A Newbie You Look Like A Goose

My first combat class was an exercise in humiliation. The choreography was challenging, the moves were alien, and the pace was hard.

The instructor looked like she was actually fighting. I looked like I might, at any moment, pirouette. I felt lost and looked silly.

But now, several weeks later, I feel more confident and I absolutely love it.

From everyone I’ve talked to – including the instructor – that’s how it is for everyone.

Life Lesson

To start something completely new, you have to go through the feeling-foolish stage. It’s part of the journey.

This applies to exercise, learning a musical instrument, dancing, making friends, learning a new skill, starting a new job – anything you haven’t done before.

Expect to go through the I-feel-foolish stage. Embrace the gooseness. It’s the only path there is.

2. Being Tired Doesn’t Mean You’re Doing Your Best

After using the same weights for many months, I increased my bicep and shoulder weights in my weights class. I’d always felt tired after the class, so I expected this to be a major adjustment.

Turns out it wasn’t.

I still feel just as tired after the class, but now I’m using heavier weights and gaining more fitness benefits.

You know what surprised me most? Being tired didn’t mean I was doing my best. I was capable of more. I’d never have known that if I hadn’t tried.

Life Lesson

Just because you feel you’re making an effort, it doesn’t mean you can’t do more.

Could you be more productive at work, more focused in your business, kinder to your family, warmer to your friends, tidier in your home, more disciplined with your money, smarter about your appearance?

In what life area can you ‘raise your weights’?

You may be capable of more, if you try.

3. Thinking About Lovely Legs Eases The Pain

I also took up cycling classes, which I find ridiculously hard. But with summer approaching I thought they’d be a good choice for getting nice, toned legs.

Here’s what I noticed.

When I thought about how hard the class was, how much I was working, how desperately I longed to lie in a fetal position in the corner, I found it a huge struggle to keep going.

But when I thought about my nice toned legs in a pair of spunky shorts, pushing those pedals got easier.

Life Lesson

To have the things we want in life, we often have to pay a price. It might be hard work, exercise, healthy eating, patience, persistence, optimism or something else.

The more we focus on the struggle or sacrifice, the more energy we lose to those thoughts.

Instead, focus on the benefits you want – vitality, an attractive body, achievement, good relationships.

You’ll find you gain energy to help you rise to your challenges.

The more we focus on the struggle or sacrifice,
the more energy we lose to those thoughts.

Your Life Lessons

What life lessons have you learned from your diet, exercise or weight-loss journey?

Please share!

*This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared in the Get Organized Wizard newsletter.
So this actually happened a while ago. But the lessons are timeless, don’t you think? 🙂

Michele Connolly

Michele Connolly helps people move from procrastination to action. She believes that taking action on your priorities makes you a happier person. Michele is the founder of Get Organized Wizard and creator of tools for business, home, and personal organization. Her programs are used by tens of thousands of people worldwide.

4 thoughts on “3 Life Lessons From The Gym

  1. Deborah Stocks Wager says:

    When I was losing 25 pounds a few years ago I found that if I thought about how much I really wanted that yummy thing I could never say no. If instead I thought about the fact that I was wearing a smaller size of jeans and they were starting to feel loose (and I’d soon be able to wear an even smaller size!), the goodies had no power.

  2. Cathi Morse says:

    I came back to re-read this post. I’ve been working with a dietician for 2 months and with these 2 things going, finally I’m moving in the right direction. Thanks for your motivation, it has been so helpful!

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